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Start a kid off on a Red Dot or Tech Sight

5475 Views 27 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Gary C
Hay guys, I'm giving my 6y/o girl her first rifle this Christmas so I bought her a 10-22. I'm wondering if I should start her on aperture sights or a red dot?

Aperture sights would start her off learning how to shoot but would be more difficult than the red dot. The red dot would really get her to blasting and having fun right away.

I'm thinking about starting with the TechSights and if she starts to bore or it's to hard switch to the red dot.

What says the hive mind?
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Unless your daughter is going to be a future basketball player, I think you need to wait about four or five years yet for a 10/22. I have quite a few issues with allowing a child a semi-automatic for their first weapon. The first of that is you are trying to teach control, as well as gun safety, and it's just too easy to pull the trigger as quick as she can.

For a six year old, I like the Crickett rifles, the Savage Cub or the CZ Scout. So many people will give you grief over buying your daughter a Crickett, but everything I've seen about them makes them a great starter rifle. One nice thing about the Crickett is the low price, you don't have to spend a fortune on one. You can get a Walnut stocked one relatively inexpensively, with a peep sight. Or, you can get a pink laminate one. Don't get the synthetic stocked ones. :(

For a few dollars more, Savage gives you a much better choice, and a better made rifle. You can get them with the AccuTrigger. Here's the Pink laminate single shot. Again, with peep sights in the rear.

This is the Savage Mk I Youth rifle. It has open sights, and is drilled and tapped for mounting a scope later on. It's a little bit longer than the others ones I've shown you so far, but also gives your daughter room to grow into instead of growing out of.

Finally, I can think of no finer rifle to start your daughter off into the shooting world than the CZ 452 Scout. This is the only rifle out of all that I've listed that is not a single shot rifle, it has a magazine that can hold five rounds. Actually, I believe it comes with a single shot adapter, and will fit the standard five and ten round mags.

You will notice that all of the rifles I have recommended are no longer than 33", most with a 16.5" barrel, and under 5 pounds. All are bolt action, and single shot. This means that your daughter has to work at getting the rifle to fire, and it's easier to control safety, and she also learns an appreciation of the rifle and what it takes to set up each shot, instead of just blastinatin'! :Blasting_

Don't handicap your daughter by giving her a rifle that isn't going to fit her and making it harder to shoot. She'll appreciate the 10/22 one day, no doubt, but like I said, wait four or five years until she's ready for it. In the meantime, give her something that she can enjoy and have a reasonable chance of shooting well.

As to your original question, iron sights at 15-25 yards.

G
 

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But I have experience...

You can theorize all you want. I have a 10 year old daughter. I started her with a Crickett at age 9. Nice little rifle. Shingle shot. Peep sight. The reality... she couldn't see much through the peep sight. It just wasn't fun for her to try to line up the post in the hole on the target. I bought the Crickett scope. Much better for her being able to see what she was shooting. The Crickett has one critical flaw. The hole for feeding the round is too small even for her little fingers to easily get a round in the chamber. I don't think other youth single shots suffer from this issue. Nevertheless, she wanted to be able to shoot more than once without reloading. It's more fun to shoot cans, balloons, spent shotgun shells, etc. over and over. I traded her Crickett for a Marlin 795 and kept the scope. Way more fun for her!

I am now seriously considering a 10/22 upgrade for her. The trigger on the Marlin is long and crunchy, even though I worked it over to lighten the pull. I worked the trigger over on a previously owned 10/22 and it was very good. The good thing about the Marlin was that I didn't feel guilty about cutting down the plastic stock for her and painting it pink. Very cheap, but made her happy.

I'm now training my 7 year old with the same rifle. It is difficult for her (she is very small) to acquire any sight picture, partly because even the cut down stock is a bit long and the trigger pull is still too much. If she had a peep, I can only imagine that she'd never line up the target with the post and hole. Last outing, though, she was able to hit several cans and clays over and over. Another win for the semi-auto.

As for teaching safety "better" using the single shot. It's a bunch of bologna! If you start out: always point in a safe direction, don't put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot, etc., the safety part is identical with a semi-auto.

I've not tried a red dot. My guess is that it would be easy for a child to acquire the target and have fun. Anyway, go with the 10/22 you already have. You'll be able to customize/improve later if your daughter wants to continue. Otherwise, you can easily sell and get your money again.

JL
 

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I believe 6 is too young to shoot unless you are going to be right beside her 100% of the time. That means not walking away at any time. We will not allow anyone to shoot at the gun club until they are 8. I did not start shooting 22s until I was 11 and my uncle gave me a single shot Springfield. Once she understands red dots she will probably like them better but at some time she should learn Iron sights. I am not for starting some one that young on a semi-auto because I don't believe they understand some of the saftey issues involved. Your choice. I wish the CZ 452 Scout had been around when I started shooting. That is a great little rifle and the trigger can be refined as much as you want (I have one now and I like it a lot but I did rework the trigger).
 

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I now have two rifles for the kids.

I cut down a 10-22 rifle and put some apature sites on it. My boy was about 10 at the time. He enjoyed the semi-auto action, but the rifle was too heavy for him. I bought a Savage Rascal this year. It fits him perfect (he's 12 now) and my daughter (10) is able to shoot it also. I underestimated how heavy rifles seem to kids. I wanted my kids to shoot standing up. With the 10-22, my boy only shot from a bench and prone. Both of my children accepted the sights without question. If you don't use an apature, I think the red dot is the next best way to go. I also bough some of the new CCI quite ammo for the Savage. It was nice to be able to shoot without earplugs. The Quite ammo still hits pretty hard. I hope you have a safe and fun time shooting with your daughter!
 

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Safety first and sights second. Safety with a bolt gun is better than a semi no matter what some think. Sights are what you learn to use, if properly taught open sights or scope will both work. Remember we are teaching a new user to shoot safely. Accuracy will come later. Start with a large target for them to gain confidence & then work down in size.
 

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I learned on irons and always shot them with confidence. It wasn't untill recently in my adult life that I started with optics, and I learned that it is very easy to switch from irons to optics, but if I had learned on optics and had to pick up a gun without them I would be at a significant disadvantage,

I think EVERYBODY should learn on iron sights.
 

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I was 4yo when i started shooting, big for my age but still. So I know it can be done. had my first bb gun at 7, shot hundreds of dirt clods and lizards. If she can reasonably hold the gun without being dangerous i say go for it. The little 10/22 that my wife has could be cut down very easily and when your daughter grows into it find a take off somewhere.
 

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They are never too young to learn to shoot in my book. So long as the adult supervision is there, and the basics of firearm safety and manipulation can be taught and re-enforced. Responsibility has no limits or age restrictions. You alone are the best judge of this and according to your teaching abilities. 8-12 year old's taking their first deer with a center fire around here is quite common......girls and boys. Be that as it may.
A youth with a rimfire is what keeps us American!
 

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I LOVE how a question about what sights he should start HIS child out with turned into a safety debate. I really don't think he cares about your opinion on whether HIS child is too young for a 10/22 or not. I believe, from the original post, that he has already made that decision without your input on his parenting ability.


I started shooting very young and always had iron sights. It may be a little harder for her to learn on iron sights, but it will make her a better shooter down the road.

I agree with Spiff, it is easier to transition from irons to optics than to learn on optics and transition to irons.
 

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I LOVE how a question about what sights he should start HIS child out with turned into a safety debate. I really don't think he cares about your opinion on whether HIS child is too young for a 10/22 or not. I believe, from the original post, that he has already made that decision without your input on his parenting ability.

I started shooting very young and always had iron sights. It may be a little harder for her to learn on iron sights, but it will make her a better shooter down the road.

I agree with Spiff, it is easier to transition from irons to optics than to learn on optics and transition to irons.
Who's opinion exactly? And are you addressing me in this response? Please be more specific. Thanks
In all honesty......I think your response is off topic. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Who's opinion exactly? And are you addressing me in this response? Please be more specific. Thanks
In all honesty......I think your response is off topic. Just my opinion.
No Ram Rod, I think that you and KJ wasn't refering to you. You posted that kids can start shooting at an early age all KJ posted was that a few of the other post in this thread get a little off topic about if a six y/o is too young and if a 10-22 is the right gun for them to start. You didn't do that you just said make sure I stay safe. No problem.

I agree with KJ my question was about which type of sight was best to start a kid out on and not if my child is ready to start shooting or which gun is right for her. No harm no foul. I thank everyone for their suggestions but I have decided that my child is ready to start learning to shoot and that a 10-22 is the right gun for her to learn on.

For me safety is a given when it comes to firearms. She can't even think about leaning to shoot until she can tell me the firearm safety rules. She can. I don't buy into the bolt action thing. I can load one round at a time if I choose. The 10-22 is heavy, too heavy for her to shoot off hand but I plan on her sticking with prone and bench until she gets older and stronger. I chose the 10-22 because I want her first gun to be one that she can use for a lifetime and one that can be configured and re-configured to suit her needs. Maybe one day she will teach her children how to shoot with it?

Thanks for the insight from everyone about which sight system may be best to start her out on.
 

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Who's opinion exactly? And are you addressing me in this response? Please be more specific. Thanks
In all honesty......I think your response is off topic. Just my opinion.
No Ram Rod, I think that you and KJ wasn't refering to you. You posted that kids can start shooting at an early age all KJ posted was that a few of the other post in this thread get a little off topic about if a six y/o is too young and if a 10-22 is the right gun for them to start. You didn't do that you just said make sure I stay safe. No problem.

I agree with KJ my question was about which type of sight was best to start a kid out on and not if my child is ready to start shooting or which gun is right for her. No harm no foul. I thank everyone for their suggestions but I have decided that my child is ready to start learning to shoot and that a 10-22 is the right gun for her to learn on.

For me safety is a given when it comes to firearms. She can't even think about leaning to shoot until she can tell me the firearm safety rules. She can. I don't buy into the bolt action thing. I can load one round at a time if I choose. The 10-22 is heavy, too heavy for her to shoot off hand but I plan on her sticking with prone and bench until she gets older and stronger. I chose the 10-22 because I want her first gun to be one that she can use for a lifetime and one that can be configured and re-configured to suit her needs. Maybe one day she will teach her children how to shoot with it?

Thanks for the insight from everyone about which sight system may be best to start her out on.
highlighter is correct, my comment was not directed at you. and just to clarify your comment, what exactly was off topic about my post?

I started shooting very young and always had iron sights. It may be a little harder for her to learn on iron sights, but it will make her a better shooter down the road.

I agree with Spiff, it is easier to transition from irons to optics than to learn on optics and transition to irons.
I believe after I clarified what the OP was asking I gave my opinion on his question.
 

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I started shooting at a very early age with a Red Ryder BB gun. Crude open sights. I became one helluva shot if I do say so myself. Except for the fact my eyesight has now become bi-focaled in the last few years, I shoot open sights on every type of firearm. If you cannot use them, you handicap yourself tremendously in the shooting world.

Seeing as how starting a kid off shooting should be primarily about teaching them IMHO, I personally feel that open sights - standard blade front and square notch rear in fact - are the ONLY choice on a first gun.

Why teach a child with a red dot, allow them to become proficient with it at the exclusion of open sights? They won't want to use open sights when they see how much easier a red dot, or worse yet a magnified scope is to shoot.

Just my own personal opinion and what I have done with my children and my friends' children that I have been asked (and humbly accepted) to build "first guns" for their kids, which FWIW have always been cut down 10/22s.
 

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Evolution...start them with open (irons)...then red dot...then a scope..that way they will be well trained no matter what they need/get the opportunity to shoot.:bthumb::bthumb: I will add that my kids were bored to death with irons...loved the red dots and were in awe of a actual scope.






 

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We work with a lot of younguns and a 10-22 in it's lightest form is too heavy for all but the biggest kids at 8-10 years old. Peeps....Mostly they just don't get it and are likely to give up before they do. You want success early to grap their attention, then get them into the nuts and bolts of each sight type. Regular ol' irons or a scope is the way I'd go and not move to peeps until they are grouping well.....O.L.
 
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